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Canberra Today 7°/11° | Monday, May 16, 2022 | Digital Edition | Crossword & Sudoku

Chronic wounds are a ‘hidden epidemic’

WOUNDS Awareness Week 2021 is aiming to shed light on Australia’s “hidden epidemic” of chronic wounds, which according to the awareness organisation, Wounds Australia, affects more than 420,000 people every year.

Having launched yesterday (August 23) and running until August 29, the week will be Wounds Australia’s largest ever public health campaign and will attempt to reveal a problem that chair Hayley Ryan says is “massive”, but widely unknown.

Wounds Australia Chair Hayley Ryan.

“Over 420,000 people suffer from chronic wounds each year and they will spend an average of $340 per month on dressings and painkillers,” said Ms Ryan.

“Chronic wounds also damage mental health. They stop people from working, studying and enjoying activities others take for granted.”

Figures released by Wounds Australia on the opening day of the week shows $3 billion is spent annually on wound treatment in hospitals, clinical settings and aged care facilities.

“While anyone at any time can be afflicted by a chronic wound, older Australians and people with health complications are most likely to suffer,” said Ms Ryan.

“Sadly, they are also the people who are least able to afford treatment.”

However, Ms Ryan says the solution to chronic wounds for thousands of Australians is “bleeding obvious”.

“By simply knowing the warning signs and understanding who is at risk, chronic wounds can be avoided or be quickly healed by talking to a healthcare professional,” she says.

“Wounds Australia wants Australians and their family to know help is available.”

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